The UNLV Lady Rebels caught fire in the second half to come away with the blowout win over the Utah State Aggies, 89-59, for their first road win in the Mountain West Conference.
"Really proud of our second-half effort tonight, it was a hard fought game in the first half,” head coach Lindy Rocque said. “ I wasn't that pleased with our defense in the first half and I know our team wasn't either. I challenged our team to hold them under 60 points, and we did that. Proud of our effort to just lock in, especially in the second half, and on the road, we haven't done this in conference play yet, and in front of fans cheering against us which is new for us this season.
UNLV will finish off its back-to-back games against Utah State Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 5 pm.
The young and inexperienced Lady Rebels are now 6-6 overall pushing to be a top tier team in the Mountain West.
UNLV now moves to 4-3 in the Mountain West sitting behind 5-3 Boise State for fourth place in the conference.
The team has already split games with Colorado State and New Mexico.
Colorado State holds first place in the Mountain West and New Mexico holds third place.
The young team currently sits a game out of first place in the loss column.
UNLV played well on both ends of the court, showing their firepower on offense and their physical presence on the defensive side.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Lady Rebels had four starters in double-digits combining for 58 points.
Redshirt senior guard Bailey Thomas was just one point shy of joining that unit.
Thomas plays the role of the floor general for the Lady Rebels leading to a 30-point conference win. She finished short of a triple-double recording nine points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
“Talk about a stat sheet stuffer, Bailey is becoming such a great leader, on the court, getting us organized, we know the defensive player she is, just really proud of her,” La Rocque said. “Also saw great games from [redshirt sophomore] Delaynie [Byrne], [freshman guard] Jade [Thomas], [junior guard] Nia [Johnson], [freshman forward] Desi-Rae [Young].
But the biggest shout out to our young women coming off the bench, [freshman guard] Jasmine [Singleton], [sophomore guard] Jacinta [Buckley], [sophomore forward] Anna [Blount], [sophomore center] Keyena [Wilfred], [redshirt freshman] Tianna [Carter], [sophomore guard] Lalli [Gurrola], they played a lot of minutes tonight and they gave us great contributions and that was great to see knowing we have to play them again in 48 hours."
UNLV fed the ball to its post players, resulting in 30 trips to the free throw line.
The Lady Rebels shot 80 percent from the free throw line making 24 of their 30 attempts.
In addition, UNLV recorded 61 rebounds, marking the most rebounds against a Division-I opponent by the program in 29 years.
That rebound mark is now tied for ninth place in school history.
The most important key to the Lady Rebels performance was their dominance in the possessions department.
UNLV only committed five turnovers in the game.
“We also didn't turn it over, a season-low five turnovers, I would love to have that every game,” coach La Rocque said.
Defensively, the Lady Rebels were sluggish in the first half allowing the Aggies to get any and every bucket they wanted, especially from deep range.
The Lady Rebels were able to collect 41 defensive rebounds but were only able to record two steals and one block.